I was very glad to be asked to reflect on what it means to be called to ministry at Jo’s induction to a new ministry this week. Here are the 7 challenges I shared with those present. I wonder what might change in your churches if you tried out these challenges this year.
1. See the good.
As you look around you each day, choose to see what God has created and recognise that ‘it is very good’, even when you aren’t so sure.
2. Be the change.
When you see harm, oppression, or exclusion, don’t look away or hide from your call to make a difference. Remember the burning bush that Moses saw and consider the ways in which God might be calling you to ‘set God’s people free’.
3. Get outside.
Get out of the church and see the beauty of God out in the world. Take other people with you and show each-other the wonder of creation.
4. No idols.
Look for the traditions that have become idols or habits, things that you hold on to simply because they are ‘the ways its always been ‘and work together on letting them go or transforming them into something new.
5. Look for Jesus.
Look for Jesus in babies and children, in those who are struggling, in strangers, in the other and those who are excluded. Find Jesus in those who don’t look or act or live like you and give thanks for their presence in your life.
6. Open doors.
Work towards becoming people and communities who are confident to invite people to ‘come and see’ who you are and how you live together, rather than relying on clever words and ideas.
7. Be imperfect.
And finally, be perfectly imperfect, scarred, and authentic. Don’t try to be liked, to be the best, or to be someone else. As Jesus did all those years ago, simply say ‘I’m me, I’m human, I’m scarred, and I’m loved’.